Methane (CH4) is the simplest alkane with only one carbon and four hydrogens in its molecule. It is the main component of natural gas and is attractive fuel source due to its abundance. It exists in the earth’s atmosphere at an approximate concentration of 1800ppb (parts per billion).
Methane is a greenhouse gas because it inhibits outward thermal radiation from the earth – in other words, it traps heat. Methane is in fact a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide (CO2) is. For this reason, unused methane is usually flared to convert it to CO2. However, because CH4 is a combustible gas, it is generally recovered as an energy source.
Methane is mainly produced by the biological process of methanogenesis which is one of the metabolic stages of microorganisms on organic matter.
Methane Gas Analysis
Methane is a gas of interest in many analytical applications. Infrared (IR) detectors can be used to measure CH4 because it is an excellent absorber of infrared energy. Methane in industry is frequently measured in percent (%) ranges, but parts per million (ppm) measurement is also possible with IR detectors.
Nova equipment measures CH4 using an IR detector that also ‘sees’ other hydrocarbons and reports them as methane. This is usually not a problem in cases where the non-methane hydrocarbons are not present in significant amounts. If non-methane hydrocarbons are expected to be an issue, we can offer a methane-specific detector which ‘sees’ only methane in a background of mixed hydrocarbons.
Methane Gas Analyzer Models
Nova has capability for CH4 measurement using the infrared methodology. Our analyzers can be supplied with a built-in sample pump or a pressure regulator to suit most applications. Portable and permanent continuous models are available. Many of the analyzers shown here also measure other gases besides CH4.
Here are our methane gas analyzers:
- 470 Continuous Process Hydrocarbons Analyzer
- 470L Continuous Process Low Range PPM Hydrocarbons Analyzer
- 600 Portable LEL Combustibles as Methane Monitor
- 870 Series Continuous Steelmaking Process Analyzers
- 910 Series Continuous Landfill Gas Analyzers
- 970 Series Continuous Syngas & Gasification Analyzers
- 7900P Series Portable Industrial Carbon Monoxide Analyzers
- 7900 Series Continuous Industrial Carbon Monoxide Analyzers
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